NP Logging Plan Threatens Our Health

I was stunned to hear on NPR that the top of Eversource’s plan is to hire New Hampshire people to do the logging necessary to put in their line for the Northern Pass. This means trees taken down to make 500 miles of new roads to service the line, in addition to widening and extending the existing corridor. This means 500 miles of water-sequestering trees – GONE. This means not only one wide swath through our forests for the main line, it also means ANOTHER swath for the roads connecting service to the line.

We feel sorry for California’s lack of foresight that has taken them too long to wake up to their water crisis. After years of development, building dams, and failing to replant precious forests, it is dues time for California. Cal Fire states that 95% of fires have a human cause, i.e. sparks from construction equipment.

The kind of logging Eversource proposes exploits the very trees that are capable of sucking up massive amounts of carbon dioxide, and decrease global warming. Instead, it promotes soil erosion as water sequestered by downed trees must be dispersed, wasted. This kind of logging destroys habitats, which, in turn, affects diversity at a time when the world is slowly waking up to the reality that we have to care for the earth and all life here if we want the earth to care for us.

NP continues to put out false information about the cost of undergrounding the line. Yet, a Hydro Quebec subsidiary pleased the people of Australia by undergrounding 100 miles there, which the Australians have found cost effective to install and maintain.

In northern NH especially, we are used to hearing plentiful running water; we even plan our loop hikes so we can access running water energy for an easier climb on the uphill. We have a steady stream of visitors who come to our mountains to relax and take in the spellbinding beauty of our notches, knowing they can hike in wilderness for days if they want and never run out of access to water. They can see moose, bear, flocks of wild turkey, weasels playing tag around a log; they can hike the Appalachian Trail full of breathtaking peaks and abundant wildflowers and birds; they can drive to scenic lookouts of vast, undisturbed land where the diversity we so need can thrive. They can come back to NH as often as needed to keep their life in balance.

Our job is to continue to steward our forests and recognize that our ability to keep each other well depends on our ability to honor the diversity that gives our forests life, and to say “No” to anything that threatens that diversity.

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